Mexico, Monterrey West Mission

Mexico, Monterrey West Mission

Monday, November 28, 2011

Semana 5....BAPTISM!!!

Buenos Dias! How is everyone! It's a really cold day and my fingers are really slow typing right now. Well, we had an awesome week, starting from the beginning. We have been starting to see a lot of the blessings the Lord had for us and things were going very smoothly. We had a few progressing investigators and needed to fast, so when we began to fast, I think almost everything fell through. All our investigators dropped and so on. It felt like we returned to how it was a few weeks ago, but we were able to see what the blessings were of the fast. We were tried with a lot of faith once again, but we pulled through.

Here is our investigator, Rubi. She is Angel's (the baptism last week) cousin. When we brought Angel to church last week we saw his cousin, who ironically went to buy something in the store, at the last second. We invited her to his baptim and she showed right up. After his baptism, she asked when she could get baptised and we told her we had to teach her first and so on. It turned out she was super ready with nothing to impede this step in her life. She has a darling little sister who, after the baptism looked up at me and said, "That was beautiful wasn't it?" She told me she wanted to cry when she saw the baptism.

The Stake President gave a really good talk in church yesterday about the sacrifices of going to the temple. It was centered on how a lot of people here sacrifice so much of what they have, but a lot of people use these sacrifices as excuses. He said, "If we need blessings, we need sacrifices." Well, that's our week, I loved it! Also, we forgot about Thanksgiving until about 10:00 at night while I was eating cereal. On Thanksgiving day, the sister forgot we were eating with her, so we went out and bought campachanas. They are sweet, but take weeks to burn the calories off. I forgot to put that I made my first piñata this week, that's what the picture is of. Much love, Elder Warner

Journaling.... thoughts of the week

Baptism of Rubi
First homemade Pinata!
Could this be Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Semana 4....BAPTISM!!!

Hey!! Well, we had another awesome week. To start off I think we're starting to see all the blessings the Lord has promised us.

Last Sunday, we had planned to visit various less actives, with one of them bringing us to 9 year old Angel. He never met his dad and has no idea where he is at, and his mom had passed away a few years ago leaving him with his grandma in their little home. He has an eleven year old sister who was baptized 2 years ago but he couldn't get baptized with her because of his age at the time. When we started teaching him he already knew the lessons from when the other missionaries taught his sister. He is very smart and reverent for his age. When we found him, we focused alot on helping his grandma but later found out that she's not married but lives with her boyfriend. He had a lot of family support at his baptism which made it a really awesome service! Also we had the confirmation of Jose, from last week. It was a really cool experience standing in the small circle confirming him a member of the church because when he was confirmed, they blessed him that he would become a faithful missionary. It made me realize again that one day he will be a missionary!
One last highlight is that this week in the district meeting my first companion Elder Zegarra, who is now my Zone leader, was teaching us about references. He referred to our convert Martha saying that before us, Martha's mother didn't give the missionaries the reference of her daughter because some of the missionaries would stay too long in members homes or she would see the missionaries eating hamburgers in the street, etc. He applied it to saying how the members see your example and through it, they gain confidence and trust. And through that, you can find success. That's it for this week, until next, love you all! Elder Warner

I cant believe Kris and Doug are out. I can only think of how their missionary service will bless so many, and in their own family. I am guessing it's getting snowy there. Well, this week I learned something that answered a lot of my questions about the email I wrote you last week. On Tuesday, we ate with the Stake President and we were talking about Preach my Gospel. He helped me understand that it is a guide, but it has to be applicable with where you are at. I noticed I was too focused on doing exactly what it said, taking subtle spiritual impressions out of focus. He helped me realize that they are only guidelines that can change, and the Spirit at times has the ability to bend these guidelines. I was really glad I learned that this week.

HEY SWEETHEART! well first things first. I miss your dinner rolls like crazy. People always ask what I ate in the United States and I always tell them about your rolls! Well, a lot happened this past Sunday huh. I can't believe your sister is leaving this week! I am so proud of her. I am doing awesome, how are you!!! I totally forgot its Thanksgiving and to wish everyone a happy holiday but I want you to know in such little words how truely thankful I am for you and the PERFECT mother I have! I can't say it with out tears in my eyes how truely blessed I am to have you in my life and your example for me. I send you with all the love I can from your son here in Mexico. Enjoy the holiday with the family. It's the last one that you can before I am there to crash the party :) I love you sweet mother, love your son Bryan

Monday, November 14, 2011

Semana 3.....BAPTISM!!!

HELLO ALL!  How are you doing?  We are still doing very well here in Monclova!  As always, learned a ton this week.  One of the things we are trying to learn this week is gaining the confidence of the people.  We have seen that many, if not all of the people are very insecure about things. (There are hours in the morining and afternoon that are ineffective for knocking doors because all the parents have to walk to and pick up their kids from school.  We hear of a lot of kidnapping here) but we have noticed since the beginning that if we offer to help someone with groceries in the street, they won't look over or talk cause they think we're going to rob their groceries.  We still offer as much as we can but try to practice saying we are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ really fast so they know.  This week, we had the baptism of 9 year old Jose. He is the little boy who we tried working with his dad to quit drinking but never found the desire, so we went ahead and were able to help with the ordinance.  He is awesome and really does understand very simply the Gospel.   We baptized him on Saturday and he was confirmed on Sunday.  Well, our ward is still getting through, slowly but surely.  We do have awesome leaders.  I have a list of things that I am learning in this ward and area that I'll share when I leave here.  

It's been cooling down a lot here.  One day is sweaty hot and the next you're freezing. On the cold days, the water adapts.  I have had a few laughs hearing all the Elders I live with scream every time they pour water on them to take showers in the morning. I as well, am guilty of screaming like a girl.  This is a picture of our running buddies.  They are two random dogs that wait outside our door every morning to catch the morning run.
Well, that's our week.  I love you all! Elder Warner

Dear Mom,
It is very true for the Mexicans, including me now, that we get really cold if it even gets a bit chilly.  Imagine yourself in that situation.  I heard from Bishop Goldsberry. I love him a lot.  My 1 year anniversary was good, but it didn't feel real.  To be honest, it still doesn't.  I wanted to comment on this weeks birthday of my brother, Michael.  Here, I celebrated. I don't know why but thinking about Michael makes me so happy. I love him so much and could never give him enough thanks for what he has done for us.  
Your email 2 weeks ago:  One thing I learned a few changes ago went along the line of what you said - that the best way of teaching obedience is through example, not words.  I think about what you said about contacting.  Because at times, I feel like contact after contact, nothing happens, but I know now, that they are all for a reason. Something Bishop Goldsberry told me is, in this last year, to make every lesson, every contact count, etc.  I wrote a lot of overall things that have changed in this past year in my journal. I am excited for one day that you can read them all.  Well, dear, I look forward to your responses and wish you the best day ever,   love you so much!  Bryan

Sunday, November 6, 2011

One Year Reflection.....

To my Family and LOVED ONES!  As I reflect on this past year, I would like to write to all the family in one email and thank each of you for your rememberances (is that a word?) for this little hump.  I feel like I'm recharged and ready to destroy this last year. Your words reminded me how much I love each and every one of you (don't take that in a bad way). I don't miss home at all. I dont wait on getting there. My time left is so short. I say that because I will never have this opportunity ever again.  And I want each of you to know I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. I can't describe the joy I am filled with to have the family i do. I get emotional talking about each of you because you all are everything I have, and any thing i could ever want. I am closer to each of you than I ever have been in my 20 years of life, and it's because of nothing but the mission. I LOVE MY MISSION! I LOVE MY FAMILY!  Let us all take advantage of every day, every moment we have right now.  Don't worry about time.  I get emotional talking about the end of my mission.  Before each of us know it, I'll be home and we will never forget the blessings each of us recieved while I was gone. Enjoy these blessings! I love you all so much. I thank you all so much. I am so grateful for my family. 

Hey everyone!  How are we doing??  We had a really good week as usual here in Del Rio.  Things are going well and the weather is starting to cool down and we've been working in different areas.  You wouldn't believe the difference how the people are in one colony compared to the other.   It's really strange but the people are more accepting in the colony we started.  Well, we're learning more that ever.  Literally more than ever.

MY sweet mom!  How are you my sweet mother!  How are we doing???  Oh, how I miss you sometimes.  Tell me what's new. I'm sure you're absolutely freezing right now. For some odd reason the temperature completely dropped this week and I shivered all through the nights. Don't worry, I bought a big Mexican blanket today in Walmart with my money!  The only bad thing is the heat came back on so I won't need it for a bit. Anyways!  About Martha - she is doing so awesome - wait to hear this..... we got changes and Elder Zegarra is our zone leader! I will say that he is and was my favorite companion and I am so happy that he is here in Monclova with me!  But he arrived and gave me all the details on Martha because he was in that area for another 3 months once I left.   He said she is active and doing awesome. I really wanted to cry when he told me about her. Ahh, I love it. I need to start asking her about the temple.  She has gotta get there!  From what I imagine, they are planning on it for March or later so we'll have to pray and see!  Well, my companion loves learning languages and loves when I help him with English and the Spanish hymn book has about half the hymns as English so I want to give him a hymnbook because he loves singing. Thanks for sending that. I could imagine it is about my year mark. It's not something I really want to talk about it makes me really sad thinking it's halfway over, and I feel really stressed because I have soooooo much I still need to do and learn in this next year!  Help. I love when you tell me about your work and the humble Sundays you have in the NICU, I can just imagine how powerful it is.  There are so many of God's angels that remain in those hospitals.  What an experience. Well, to answer you - yes, there are a few scary stories that I keep out, ha ha, but don't even worry, it has been really powerful watching the fear of someone's face when they approach us and immediately turn around.  I just want to let you know how thankful I am for you. You are the sweetest woman I know and I love you so much.
I will think of you this week on the 9th - my brother, Michael.  I hope you have a comforting day. Have a celebration! I love you dear, thank you for EVERYTHING!!!  

On Thursday, I had the opportunity to read a card I wrote myself a year ago.  In the card I wrote my expectations in what I need the mission to change in me in a year.  As I read the various topics and "infinite attributes" of things I expect to change and learn, I found how it was compared easily to the ministry and Atonement of Christ in His life.
  • First, as Elder Maxwell has suggested, it is "infinite in the divineness of the sacrificed." The title of that hymn, "O Divine Redeemer" is an apt reminder that He who brought about the Atonement is the consummate expression of Godliness.
  • Second, it is infinite in power. The Savior went from grace to grace until he "recieved all power", both in heaven and in earth" - D&C 93, 17.
  • Third, the Atonement is infinite in time.  It applies retroactively and prospectively through time immortal.
  • Fourth, it is infinite in coverage.  It applies to all God's creations and all forms of life thereon. Elder Maxwell called it " the comprehensiveness of it's coverage."
  • Fifth, it is infinite in depth. It is infinite not only in who it covers, but in what it covers. "The Son of Man hath descended below them all"  D&C 122,8
  • Sixth, it is infinite in the degree of suffering endured by the Redeemer.  It was that suffering that caused "even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore"  D&C 19,18
  • Seventh, it is infinite in love. The words of the hymn "He Died! The Great Redeemer Died" are a powerful reminder of His boundless love.
  • Eighth, it is infinite in the blessings it bestows.  The blessings of the Atonement extend far beyond its well-known triumph over physical and spiritual death.  Some of othese blessings overlap, some complement and supplement each other, but in the aggregate, the effect of this event so blesses our lives in a multiplicity of ways, both known and yet to be discovered, that it might appropriately be said to be infinate in it's blessing nature. 
There are so many teaching and learning opportunities in the mission, just at times it's hard to notice or even recognize them.  I have found each and every one is the outcome of challenges. I have alot of expectations for this following year, with so little time to accomplish it all. 
I love you, all have an awesome week! Elder Warner
Bro. Silva and I on my Hump Day - one year anniversary out in the mission!  He brought me a cake, a video and an awesome monogramed tie!  He was my Summer Missionary companion a few months back.  Love the guy!

Gotta burn the tie - or pants in this situation!  I had worn the seat of these pants totally out!

Reflections from the MTC about my first year goals out in the mission....

Elder Hemsley's birthday with a great gift from his mom - 
American cold cereal!  We loved it!